Saturdays are wonderfully laid back times around here, with pancakes and phone calls to catch up with family and friends.
This morning the first call came early--before 8.00.
It was Peter, to wish me a happy birthday for yesterday, with the children.
"Happy birthday Omie," said Joshua, and he ran off.
Next came Stephen. who I noticed, sounded like he had a cold. He confirmed that he had and that he'd come home early from school yesteday, and gone to "Miss Beth's" house, where he had played lots of games of Mario, which he had won.
"So you didn't go easy on them?" I asked.
"No, only you, Omie," he said.
Katherine too, came on the phone--she had a friend there and was slightly distracted.
Joshua zoomed back again to say "Happy birthday," and was gone.
Peter came on again. He said that Emily, at 17 months, wasn't quite up to saying much yet, but he said she'd learned to unscrew the handle of the dishwasher and he was pretty sure that she shouldn't be able to do that yet. He said that the older we get, the more we are amazed at what our kids can do. He said that he imagined eventually the conversation would go like this, "Hey, our kids can count. We used to be able to do that."
Mum and my brother Robert called from England--we usually talk on Saturday mornings in a three way conversation, which takes the pressure off Mum, who understands everything we say and loves to listen and chip in here and there but finds maintaining a conversation on her own, hard since her stroke.
Robert told me that the chiropodist had come as planned, yesterday, to do some work on one of Mum's toes. He said, to tease Mum gently, "Of course, Mum had to tell them that she'd been waiting all day when they came at 4.30."
Then he said, "I knew what she meant, because Mum insisted on not having her pantyhose on when she got dressed in the morning so that her feet would be ready for them."
He said that they had said to her, "With an attitude like that Mrs, Cater, there will be no more visits for you."
"But," he said--and I could see the twinkle in his eye--"I managed to smooth things over."
Mum laughed at this version of her chiropodist appointment!
Stephen livened things up on Tuesday by calling 911. His mom, Susan, had asked him to bring the phone downstairs. When she went to dial the number, she couldn't get a dial tone, and said, "What's wrong with the phone?"
Stephen said, "There was someone on it when I called 911."
"What?!" said Susan, "Hello, hello?"
An officer was on the line, asking if everything was okay. Susan said, "Yes, but my six year old just dialed 911."
They said that an officer would be arriving shortly. "No," said Stephen, bursting into tears now, "I don't want them to come."
Susan explained that you can't dial 911 and then tell the police not to come.
Stephen said, through shaking sobs, "But they are too big."
Stephen answered the knock on the door, still crying and trembling. The female officer came inside and asked him when he thought he should call 911. Stephen gave all of the reasons perfectly. He left out his reason for calling that day, though--to see if they would come.
He now knows they will.
Philippians 3:13-14 (New International Version)
13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.